The latest stand on vitamin D screening
Over the last year and a half, I’ve written several posts on vitamin D, and here’s another one.
Last week the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its draft recommendation statement on vitamin D screening. (After a short comment period, a final recommendation will be made later this year. Rarely do these differ from the draft versions.)
Screening for vitamin D levels in healthy adults was given an “I” grade, or insufficient evidence.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance
… Continue reading
Every time I pick up a half gallon of non-organic, low fat milk (whichever brand is on sale) I have to reach over the more expensive product—the organic, DHA-fortified cartons of milk.
I first noticed this trend to fortify milk with DHA, a form of omega-3 fatty acid, a couple of years ago. You can also buy DHA-fortified eggs, breakfast cereals, orange juice, or DHA-fortified baby formula and baby foods.
DHA is marketed as “supporting” brain health, so what parent wouldn’t want to pay a premium price to fortify their child’s brain? What adult doesn’t want to avoid the dreaded … Continue reading
Research says it’s not healthier
I’m always conflicted at the grocery store.
Should I spend the extra money on fruits and vegetables labeled “organic”? Or should I just buy “conventionally-grown” produce at the lower price?
I don’t mind paying premium for the best flavor, such as fresh peaches or tomatoes from local growers that boast organic and sustainable farming practices.
But broccoli, apples, bananas? Can anyone really tell the difference?
More importantly, if I choose to be more frugal, am I hurting myself and my family?
I’ve never been one to buy into marketing hype; I want facts! So … Continue reading
Nuts associated with longer, healthier lives
Last November, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published the results of a huge observational study that showed a lower death rate among people who ate several servings of nuts (including peanuts) every week.
Previous studies have pointed to other health benefits of nuts: reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The NEJM is the first study that looked specifically at death rates.
Over 115,000 people (nurses and other health professionals) were followed for 30 years. Diet questionnaires were filled out every 2 to 4 years. That is a lot of people … Continue reading
For most, multivitamins are a waste of money
I’m always trying to do two things:
- Save my money
- Be healthy
It’s not easy when everything about health care costs so much.
So I really don’t want to throw money away on expensive drugstore products that are poorly regulated (if at all) by the FDA, and whose benefits are not supported by the latest scientific research.
Related post: The Quack Miranda Warning
I’ve written several posts about the lack of demonstrated benefit (and possible harm!) of several supplements:
And now the multivitamin is the latest … Continue reading
Buy healthy food and skip the vitamins
Last week two news stories caught my attention.
First, medical experts have (once again) come out saying that the evidence does not support taking supplemental vitamins to reduce your risk of heart disease or cancer.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the government panel that provides guidelines to the public on such things as preventive care and screening tests, has recently updated its recommendations for vitamin and mineral supplements.
Looking at a large number of smaller studies (what’s called a meta-analysis), the researchers at the Kaiser Permamente Center for Health … Continue reading
Supermarkets can be scary
Today is Halloween, and I just watched the most terrifying movie! 😯
No, it wasn’t Carrie or Paranormal Activity 4. It was Food, Inc., an exposé of America’s food industry—the multinational, fast-food and junk-food-supporting, animal-abusing, politically-subsidized conglomerations that produce the majority of our food products.
The film maker, Robert Kenner, points out that the average supermarket contains 47,000 items, but most are made by just a handful of giant corporations, such as Coca Cola, Tyson or Proctor & Gamble.
These megacompanies keep hidden some pretty nauseating industry practices. Perhaps they think we are too ignorant … Continue reading
It seems to have been a busy week in health care news, and I found it difficult to settle on what interested me the most. But here are my picks:
Coke for breakfast?
Apparently that is one of the marketing strategies Coca-Cola is considering to increase its sales in the United Kingdom. It is not clear whether they mean to actually pitch the idea that a Coke would be a great accompaniment to a bowl of oatmeal (maybe an Egg McMuffin) or they mean to develop a new line of beverages to compete with tea and coffee. But sales of … Continue reading
How are farming and medicine alike?
I just finished reading a thoughtful and informative book by Harvard-educated physician, Daphne Miller, MD. In Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing, she makes an analogy between the “complex and dynamic” systems of soil and modern farming practices, and the human body and modern medicine.
After reading a book about soil ecosystems, Dr. Miller was struck by the similarities of the chemical processes that occurred in soil and those that happened in our own intestines.
Like our own biosystems, it [soil] too depends on bacteria and fungi
… Continue reading
My belief as a frugal nurse is that each of us has the power to improve our health and lower our health care costs. Prevention is key, and in my posts I advocate such preventive actions as vaccinations, hand washing, adequate sleep, drug safety, exercise and a healthy diet.
Diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and, I think, is crucial to cancer prevention.
Therefore, I read with keen interest a recent post by David Katz, MD, on the HuffPost Healthy Living Blog.
Dr. Katz interviewed a one-time student, Nicole Larizza, a nutritionist currently … Continue reading